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Chalk Talk

Chalk Talk: What happened on sack?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

On the sack that cost the Bears 15 yards on their first drive against the Cardinals, two blitzing players were not accounted for. What was supposed to happen on that play?
Kent P.
Shaker Heights, Ohio

On the play you're referring to, the Cardinals had seven players on the line of scrimmage and rushed five. Running back Tarik Cohen released into the left flat. Defensive backs Budda Baker and Bene Benwiere blitzed off each edge and were not blocked. They combined to sack Mitchell Trubisky for a 15-yard loss, and Cody Parkey followed by missing a 46-yard field goal attempt. Trubisky accepted blame for the play during his weekly media session Wednesday, saying that he looked to the right side of the formation for the ‘hot' receiver when he should have looked to the left where Cohen was uncovered. The Bears quarterback also revealed that he corrected the mistake later in the game when he completed a pass to Cohen.

Said Trubisky: "The ball should have went to Tarik on a hot throw. It's something simple that I corrected later in the game when we got Tarik on a completion down in the red zone and he almost scored. So [I have to] learn from my mistake within the game and continue to watch it on film and correct it, and then just make sure I'm getting the protection calls the right way so I do know when I'm hot and where I'm going when I'm hot. That's something I'm just going to have to keep getting better at with this offense, keep correcting it during the game. You'd like to see it corrected on the fly so you can just not come off the field on third down and put my kicker in a tough position there, taking a big sack. That one's on me, for sure."

I give Trubisky a lot of credit for accepting blame for his mistake, correcting it later in the game and explaining what happened in detail to the media. Not all young players are like that.

Right before Cody Parkey kicked the go-ahead field goal against the Cardinals, the Bears called timeout and it appeared that they were thinking about keeping the offense on the field on fourth down. Can you explain what happened in that situation?
Corey T.
Brownsville, Texas

The situation you're referring to occurred with the Bears trailing 14-13 and facing fourth-and-one at the Cardinals' 25-yard line with 4:34 left in the game. The Bears took a timeout to discuss the situation before sending Cody Parkey out to attempt the go-ahead field goal. After the game, coach Matt Nagy was very candid and transparent about what happened, saying "we just wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing as far as kicking the field goal." Nagy went on to say that as a first-year head coach he's "growing right now with decision-making." Said Nagy: "We're going to see situations: ‘Do you go for it? You're at the 1-yard line. Do you kick the field goal? Do you get the points?' These are all situations for me [where] I'm learning as I go and it's going to make me better, and I'm OK with that."

I thought Sherrick McManis played a great game in Arizona. But how is it possible that he was credited with a tackle, sack, tackle-for-loss, quarterback hit, interception and pass breakup while playing only five snaps on defense? I'm not a math genius, but that doesn't add up.
Michael F.
Erie, Pennsylvania

I'm far from a math genius as well, but I can tell you that Sherrick McManis was credited with a tackle, sack, tackle-for-loss and quarterback hit on one play, and an interception and pass breakup on another. In the NFL, interceptions always counts as pass breakups, and sacks are also considered a tackle-for-loss if it's a solo sack that results in a loss of at least one yard. Sacks that result in no gain don't count as a tackle-for-loss. Sacks also are considered quarterback hits unless the quarterback runs out of bounds without being tackled.

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